Is a USA road trip a good idea right now? Only if you choose your route very carefully.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first question to consider when planning a trip is: Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going?
Here are four tools that can help you determine whether you’ll feel safe where you’re heading.
Covid Act Now
If you only want to rely on a single site, make it Covid Act Now, whose common-sense approach to risk assessment comes from a multidisciplinary team of technology gurus, epidemiologists, health experts, and public policy leaders. The site assesses each state’s risk by asking four questions: Is COVID-19 decreasing? Is there enough testing? Are hospitals ready? Is there enough contact tracing?
The color-coded map tells you which states are on track to contain COVID-19 (green); are controlling spread (yellow); are at risk (orange); or are experiencing an active or imminent outbreak (red).
The current map paints an alarming picture, with 17 states deemed at risk and four states in the red zone. Click on any state, and you’ll get a wealth of information, right down to the county level.
You can see, for example, that Arizona is colored red not just because COVID-19 cases are spiking right now but because hospital ICUs are at full capacity and there is not enough testing and tracing.
Covid by State
For a quick snapshot of how states along your route are handling COVID-19, turn to Covid by State. Just plug in your home state, your destination state and all the states in between, and the site will provide an easy-to-read graph that shows the trajectory of new daily cases in each state on a seven-day rolling average.
In the example above, let’s say you’re thinking of traveling from your home state of Kansas to visit Utah’s national parks. Select Kansas, Colorado and Utah and you’ll get the color-coded graph (above), which may cause you to rethink whether traveling to Utah right now is a great idea.
Having a hard time keeping track of which states require wearing face masks in public? The Masks4All site offers at-a-glance look at which states are doing all they can to stop the spread of the disease. Why is mask-wearing important? A recent study by Texas A&M University found that not wearing a face covering dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the novel coronavirus.
MultiState COVID-19 State Reopening Guide
Before hitting the road, it’s handy to know what will be open when you get to your destination. Know that increasing COVID-19 infection rates have led many states to hit the pause button on reopening until the disease is under control. The MultiState COVID-19 State Reopening Guide allows you to see each state’s degree of “openness” as determined by many 11 factors, including whether restaurants, bars and personal car services are open.